Cottonwood Pass will open Wednesday.

Chaffee County Commissioner Keith Baker said Chaffee and Gunnison counties reached a mutual agreement to open CR 306 Cottonwood Pass on that date, meaning the entire pass will be open.

Baker said the Chaffee County side of the pass is “pretty much ready to go,” but Gunnison is “exercising extra caution because of the significant realignment” of the pass on its side.

He also noted that there’s still a lot of snow on the Gunnison side, and it’s the first time they’ve done snow removal on it since the entire pass has been paved.

Gov. Jared Polis’ safer-at-home order is also set to expire on Wednesday.

Colo. 82 Independence Pass will remain closed until at least June 1 due to concerns and restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically, the Colorado Department of Transportation clears the span of Colo. 82 that connects Lake County and Pitkin County by Memorial Day weekend, but several organizations asked CDOT to delay the opening this year.

The decision was made at the request of Pitkin County, with the support of Lake County, the Independence Pass Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service. They cited continued closure of facilities along the route and the risk of higher traffic being drawn to the area upon opening the pass. 

“We will tentatively plan on opening Independence Pass, on Colo. 82, on June 1 but can adjust if these agency partners need us to,” CDOT reported in a press release.

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